PSL News

PSL spot fixing: Court orders inquiry against FIA officer

A banking court on Saturday discarded a Federal Investigation Agency report seeking the release of a man allegedly involved in spot-fixing with Indian bookies in the last Pakistan Super League.

Karachi Banking Court judge Abdul Karim Ansari ordered the FIA director-general to conduct an inquiry against investigation officer Fareed Ahmed Khan over his allegedly faulty investigation, and submit a report to the court in 30 days.

In its written order issued on Saturday, the court directed the agency to take action against IO Farid Ahmed Khan after concluding the inquiry in a month’s time.

A day earlier, the court had rejected the charge-sheet submitted by Khan with regard to scandal that emerged in February during the fifth season of the unconcluded PSL event of 2020.

Court asks FIA to open probe against ‘IO’ in PSL case

The court had noted that the IO had earlier claimed that there was substantial evidence against Muhammad Faisal alias Chitta but he later retracted that statement, giving him a clean-chit while also requesting the court to remove his name from the FIR.

The FIA on February 27 apprehended three persons allegedly associated with an international racket involved in match fixing, money laundering.

These three persons in collaboration with their aides mostly based in other countries and an international racket were engaged in defaming and sabotaging the fifth season of the PSL, a franchise twenty20 cricket league which was established by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in 2015.

The FIA had also seized seven electronic devices, including iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy Fold, Vertu Mobile, Dell Laptop, iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S10, which were found on the suspects. These devices were later sent for their forensic examination.

“The WhatsApp conversations, images, documents, deposit slips available in mobile phones of accused persons proves their iIIegal acts of gambIing and money laundering,” according to the FIA.

“The accused were in liaison with UAE-based bookie Lal Chand, who facilitated them through web portals and Ravi Kumar (Mahendar’s borther) managed finances for money laundering through hawala hundi.”

The FIA had initially arrested Mahendar Kumar, Naresh Kumar alias KG and Naresh Kumar alias Jani in an inquiry of the FIA Commercial Banking Circle (CBC) on allegations of keeping benami accounts, money laundering, and parallel banking practices.

The agency had also apprehended Muhammad Faisal alias Chitta, Ahmed Armaghan, Hanif Shaikh and Muhammad. These people are still in custody while some other accused – Jabbar Amin, Aftab Ahmed alias Atif Dollar, Waqas alias Prince, Talha Siddiqui and Noman Ali – have been granted bail.

Citing the fourth supplementary charge sheet, which was submitted in the court in August in which the charges against Faisal alias Chitta were dropped, the court observed that the report did not explain on what grounds he was being discharged.

The judge added that earlier the IO had disclosed six bank accounts which were allegedly associated with Faisal alias Chitta and used for the purpose of money laundering, but they were nowhere to be found in the latest report. He added that the IO also failed to submit the Confidential Final Report over the accused’s role.

The court referred to a report by the IO in which he maintained that Sheikh made a telephonic conversation with Faisal alias Chitta to use a Pakistani national team player for spot fixing as well other international players, and concluded that in light of these pieces of evidence, the accused could not be discharged at this stage.

“It is premature on part of the IO to seek discharge of the Faisal alias Chitta on the basis of a forensic report of an electronic device,” the judge observed.

“The court is not satisfied with the fourth charge sheet. Let the charge be framed against the accused.”

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